The EU #UnitedforSorina

We are following since a few weeks the public outcry in Romania: United for Sorina.

It is dramatic. An 8-year-old girl removed by Police forces from her foster family because she was adopted by a Romanian family living in the US. They paid 30.000 dollars to the American adoption agency.

The girl is still in Romania…

We hold the EU responsible for this drama.

Intercountry adoption became a hot issue for the European Commission in the year 2000.

Romania had changed its adoption laws a few years before. Aligning it with the Hague Adoption Convention. Numbers had exploded. Corruption was rife. The EU had to interfere because Romania was on its way to become an EU Member State. EU Commissioner Gunther Verheugen was clear: EU Member States do not export children.

It was the start of a huge fight on children’s rights.

This blog will go down into the rabbit hole of how the European made a U-turn on children’s rights and became part of the ‘adoption lobby’.

The European Commission is actively encouraging intercountry adoption through sheer corruption and abuse of power. Instead of acting as the guardian of the Treaty, the European Commission committed white collar crimes at the service of the pro-adoption lobby. It became part of the larger organised crime networks that are involved in the sale of children.

The 2009 Strasbourg Conference: Challenges in Adoption Procedures

In hindsight, the 2009 conference in Strasbourg was the beginning of the end of the EU’s adherence to children’s rights as laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since then the EU uses a pro-adoption biased interpretation of children’s rights, as laid down in the infamous Hague Adoption Convention and the so-called UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

In 2004, Romania officially banned the export of children to foreign countries in order to join the European Union. The adoption lobby, both inside and outside of Europe, keep pressuring Romania to lift that ban.

The 2009 Strasbourg conference, organised by the Council of Europe (not part of the EU) and the European Commission, was part of such lobby efforts. The goal of the conference was that Romania should follow the Bulgarian child protection model, where intercountry adoption is included as a child protection measure. And thus re-open intercountry adoption.

The abuse of power started right at the organisational stage of the conference. The conference was organised by a team who did not have the competence to do so. In fact, the whole organisational process showed how the adoption mafia worked through the European Commission to re-open adoptions from Romania.

At first, the conference was to be a closed event. For the adoption lobby only. Of course, someone leaked the info to ACT.

Against Child Trafficking (ACT), was set up at the behest of the European Commission’s Secretary General, to park Roelie Post. She had been removed from her job as ‘Task Manager Romanian Children’ on the ‘advice’ of Mr. Francois de Combret. The highest public servant of the European Commission, the Secretary-General Catherine Day, felt powerless to address this nefarious act. She told Roelie to set up her own NGO and fight the adoption lobby from the outside. Paid by the European Commission as a civil servant. Seconded to Against Child Trafficking. Bizar. It is.

Anyways, because of this funny construction ACT sent regularly briefings to the Secretary-General about children’s rights and adoption.

The October 2009 briefing, which you can read HERE, gave an update of the State of Play of the adoptionlobby, including the upcoming Strasbourg conference.

The Commission’s Secretary General did not cancel the conference but instead increased its budget so that ACT and United Adoptees International could also participate.

It was a scandalous lobby event.

The Aftermath: A Falsified Report by the EC

Six months later, a journalist dug out the evidence that the European Commission’s report on intercountry adoptions, presented during the Strasbourg Conference, was a fraud.

Again, ACT informed Secretary-General Catherine Day and requested her to take actions. To withdraw the report and to have the issue investigated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Failing actions, in December 2010, we blew the whistle with the help of the Romanian journalist: The European Commission Forges Official Report

Our whistleblowing was taken up by Dennis de Jong, Dutch Member of the European Parliament, who requested clarity from the European Commission about the news that the European Commission is trying to get more power at the expense of adoptive children.

Also in the Netherlands, a Parliamentary Question was handed in about the alleged abuse of power within the European Commission.

The replies were denial. The issue was covered up.

The good news was, however, that the European Adoption Policy was removed from the EU’s agenda. By Secretary General Ms. Day (proof on file).

The bad news? The European Commission continued pushing for more intercountry adoptions by promoting the Hague Adoption Convention.

Up to a point that they included this convention wrongly in the list of Conventions that EU candidate countries must ratify. ACT got it deleted from the list.

But too late, the harm was done.

Romania and other countries had already changed their laws. Following the Hague Adoption Convention, they made intercountry adoption a child protection measure.

For this obscure agenda, one condition needed to be fulfilled:

Destroy whistleblower Roelie Post

After the temporary “rescue” – the secondment to ACT (2008/2014) – she returned inside the European Commissions walls. And…

She was not welcomed back

She was not given a real job, mobbed

The European Commission tried to declare her ‘invalid for work’ on psychiatric grounds

When she did not give in and blew the whistle about her situation in 2016, she was fired in a range of procedures, where all conspired: OLAF, European Ombudsman, Disciplinary Committee (IDOC) and the successive Secretaries-General of the European Commission

If that were not enough, they financially break her. Fully.

ACT Against Child Trafficking is, and will always be, Roelie’s legacy.

Therefore we call upon the EU to unite for Sorina.

We call upon the EU to put the record straight. Repair children’s rights.

For all the past and future Sorina’s.

EU Commissioner Verheugen was appalled how Romania removed children from foster care in the past. A brutal affair, he said.

History repeating itself now. This must stop!